Thank goodness Valentine's day is behind us! We have a time of "sweets" reprieve, especially during Lent when many decide to give up desserts. But look out! Passover and Easter are coming up with more sweet treats on the horizon.
What can we do to stop eating addictive, white sugar when we are surrounded by it? Not only that, but sugar is in everything from from beverages to cereals to BBQ sauce. Many of us want to give up white sugar to get healthier but we are addicted to it. What can we do when our sweet tooth is craving something sweet?
We can learn about healthy sweeteners and eat them instead. Healthy sweeteners have nutrients, fiber, and minerals. The sweetener can contribute to our health instead of just providing a rush that spikes our blood sugar, contributes to extra weight, etc.
Take a look at chocolate. Chocolate Easter bunnies made by a popular Easter candy maker include these ingredients in this order: Milk Chocolate, (which contains white, processed sugar), Cocoa Butter, Whole Milk, Chocolate, Emulsifiers (Soy Lecithin and PGPR), and Vanilla. (Order is important as the largest amount of ingredient appears first and so on through the list to the one that is least in the ingredients)
85% dark chocolate contains these ingredients in this order: cacao beans, cocoa butter, raw cane sugar, vanilla bean.
Side note: Cacao is a beanlike seed from which cocoa, cocoa butter, and chocolate are made. Cacao seeds come from a small tropical tree that bears these seeds, which are contained in large, oval pods that grow on the trunk. Cacao is good for you! It is loaded with magnesium which has these attributes:
-Helps Increase Energy
-Calms Nerves and Anxiety
-Treats Insomnia and Helps You Fall Asleep
-Helps with Digestion by Relieving Constipation
-Relieves Muscle Aches and Spasms
-Regulates Levels of Calcium, Potassium and Sodium
-Important for Heart Health
-Prevents Migraine Headaches
Now it's your turn. What is your go-to healthy option that satisfies your sweet tooth? Comment on this blog to share.
If you think of herbs as the foods that they are, they are full of great flavor and add culinary significance to any dish. We are in a season where the creative flavor combinations of whole foods with herbs and spices has started a new wave of culinary chefs and a whole new way of eating that I call the "New Millennial Fare".
Now add to that the fact that herbs are full of readily available vitamins, minerals and amino acids and you have a perfect storm against disease! As we understand the many plant metabolites that are available in specific herbs, we are able to augment diets that are deficient in important dietary amenities, like B vitamins for instance, just by adding a pinch of this and a handful of than to our daily meals. Because herbs are plants, they are readily added to our favorite dishes and they are easily recognized by our bodies as food for digestion along with everything else to contribute to our overall energy intake. It's no wonder that good food is good medicine. If we are able to learn and amend our cooking with the powerful ingredients of plant foods, we can maintain our health. So the job of "Mom" becomes exceedingly important to the family and it's wellbeing long into the growing up years. All we need is a place for "Mom" to learn the craft of great cooking.
Here at Herbal Leaves Center we are focused on helping you do just that. As a center for learning, we are blessed to have herbalists, chefs and other knowledgeable folks collaborating to spread the knowledge of good food and great eating. This summer we will be offering a Family Herbal Series that will touch on a lot of this. We will also be offering individual presentations of a number of ways to transition from traditional eating and cooking habits to a more healthy and conscious way of bringing nutrition to your home. Watch the "Events" page for more presentations. Patty Myers will be leading a tour of the healthy sugar substitutes isle at City Market this Friday.
If you are interested in learning more, getting together and sharing recipes and experiences, and developing excellence in eating at your house, let us know. Send us a note, or comment here as to what areas of expertise you would like to participate in. As we are putting together our summer evenings schedule, we can incorporate many of these ideas into our classroom settings. Look forward to hearing from you.
There's a lot to be said for coming together relationally and finding answers together. It's also about more than just another support group. It's about growing, learning, and moving into a new season of life.
Food has the ability to transform your health and is the biggest intervention you can make. As true as that is, there are also many people I work with that are so confused as to what constitutes good food. I'm here to tell you that you are not alone. Confusion is not your fault. There are all kinds of conflicting messages out there; promoted by a multi-billion dollar food industry, the media, supplement companies and even government agencies that are all driven by financial gains. And they all quote conflicting scientific studies that seem to prove out their claims. It's no wonder you are confused.
When we come together in community, the strength is in the diverse dynamics of what each
one brings and how we expand on each one of those dynamics to reveal a whole new reality. Intangibles like trust and support come into play; but the tangibles of sharing real life experiences, and the outcomes resulting from the ideas, knowledge and passions of each person is excitingly unpredictable. There is enough momentum to change confusion and help many people get well.
Here at Healing Leaves Center our students are just as important as our teachers when we're in the classroom, the same way that our attendees are just as important as the presentations when we're offering a health day. Whether you consider yourself part of our online or our local community, consider this your official welcome to join us as we explore the many options for health and find the ones that are truly viable. Whether we teach one another, or bring in an expert with specific skills we are looking for, we have unending choices to get it right.
In our journey back to health we can participate in any of the following and more:
. Discover things we weren't aware of
. Keep up with new developments
. Build self-discipline with the help of encouragement
. Plant a garden
. Explore what the Creator has to say about it
. How to use food, vs herbs, vs supplements to fill deficiency gaps
. Greater opportunities for learning
. Creativity outlets
. Getting our hands dirty
. Awareness of other lifestyle choices
. Useful ways to care for family and friends
. Ways to combine resources and participate in a greater health effort
These are only a few of the ways community can open doors for each of us.
Come grow with us……. Take a class
Attend a health day
Start an online conversation
Send us a recipe
Let us know what learning experiences you are looking for
Volunteer to help organize and meet the needs
Have a one-on-one consult
So write a note, watch for our announcements for video series teachings, watch for health day announcement for mid April, sign up for our newsletters at the top of the blog page. In our newsletters we give events information, seasonal suggestions for staying healthy, and great recipes!
We look forward to hearing from you.